Link trading is a great, free way to promote your small or home-based business. However, many links pages are crowded with inappropriate or disorganized links, taking away from the professionalism of the website. Here are a few tips to make your links page work for you:

1. Place your links page at the end of your website. Believe it or not, I’ve actually seen links pages placed high on the site map. The first thing you want your clients to see is your services, not the services of another company.

2. Don’t trade links with online gambling or game sites, unless it truly relates to your business. For example, if you are a financial planner, yet include links on your site for online gambling, it takes away from the professionalism of your site.

3. Don’t trade links with competitors. While you want to keep the links on your website relative to your business, you don’t want to lose business.

4. Trade links with companies that can provide useful information or services to your target audience. Your clients will appreciate the information, and your business will gain a reputation for excellent customer service.

5. Organize your links page. Links that are crowded too closely together look unprofessional, as do links that are in no particular order. Organize your links into categories using headings and lines or dividers to separate the categories. Do not list categories with links to other pages that actually contain the useful links. This detracts from your site and uses extra bandwidth.

If you follow these simple guidelines, you will build a professional links page that boosts your business and offers you a great reputation for professionalism and customer care.